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Queen misses Christmas church service for first time since 1988 due to cold

Published: Sunday, December 25, 2016 4:28 PM    |     Modified: Sunday, December 25, 2016 5:21 PM

The Queen has not attended church at Sandringham because she is continuing to recover from a heavy cold, Buckingham Palace has said.

It is the first time since 1988 that she has missed the Christmas Day service.

“The Queen continues to recover from a heavy cold and will stay indoors to assist with her recovery,” said a statement from the Palace.

“Her Majesty will participate in the Royal Family Christmas celebrations during the day.”

Image Caption:The Queen at Buckingham Palace after recording her Christmas Day message

The Queen, who turned 90 in April, traditionally spends Christmas at Sandringham with her family.

On Wednesday, the Queen and Prince Philip delayed their train journey there because they both had heavy colds, but on Thursday the royal couple flew straight to Sandringham House by helicopter.

Image Caption:Prince Philip walks to church with Prince Charles and Camilla

Hundreds of people have been gathering outside St Mary Magdalene Church at Sandringham on Christmas morning to watch the Royal Family arrive for the morning service.

Prince Philip, 95, walked with Prince Charles from Sandringham House to the church for a private mass at 9am – the first of the services the Royal Family attend.

Prince Harry was also at Sandringham, while the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children are spending Christmas with the Middleton family at their estate near Bucklebury in Berkshire.

William and Kate attended church service at Englefield Church with Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

It is only the second time the couple have stayed away from the tradition royal gathering since they married in 2011.-sky news

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